Lithuania arranges the leave of diplomatic staff in China abruptly without notification: Chinese FM
Published: Dec 17, 2021 05:22 PM
Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Photo:

Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Photo:

Lithuania has never applied for an extension of its diplomats' identification documents, and its Foreign Minister's claim that the application requests "went unanswered by China" was a pure fabrication, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday. 

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Friday's media briefing that Lithuania suddenly arranged for all its diplomatic staff in China to leave without notifying the Chinese side in advance. Wang said Lithuania "staged a farce." 

Instead of facing up to and correcting its wrongdoings, Lithuania spread false information and shirked its responsibility, which China is deeply dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to, Wang said. 

Wang's remarks came after reports that the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Thursday that Lithuania's requests to extend the expiration deadline of diplomats' identification documents went unanswered by China and "people came back as soon as it was possible," according to Bloomberg. 

Lithuania's Foreign Ministry also claimed that China has pressured the country to change its embassy's name in Beijing to the Office of the Charge d'Affaires. 

China downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of charge d'affaires, and decided to change its diplomatic mission in Lithuania to  the Office of the Chargé d'Affaires and requested Lithuania to also change the name, which conformed to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, general international law and practice, as well as the principle of diplomatic reciprocity, Wang said. 

Against the backdrop of downgrading diplomatic relations, China requiring the Lithuanian diplomatic mission to reapply for the identification documents of its staff, as is the normal procedure for China in providing services and management of diplomatic missions in China. The changes conformed to international laws and practices, Wang said, noting that it does not affect the normal performance of duty and life of the diplomatic staff in China. 

Lithuania's attempt to create "one China, one Taiwan" and undermine China's sovereignty will not succeed, Wang said. 

Lithuania has pulled all its remaining diplomats out of China, and Lithuanian diplomats' claimed "safety concerns" for their departure from Beijing, which according to Chinese analysts was a pathetic and groundless accusation by Lithuania with the goal of building a victim's image. 

Global Times